Actress Leah Remini, the prominent defector and whistleblower of Scientology, says she will not be able to "heal" of her wounds related to the church's alleged abuse of her and others until the organization has its tax-exempt status revoked by the U.S. government.
Speaking with The Hollywood Reporter, Remini said that the third and final season of her A&E docuseries "Scientology and the Aftermath" will have an explosive ending that she hopes eventually leads to a full-scale government crackdown on the Church of Scientology. The two-hour special will air on August 26 in front of a live studio audience and will "focus on testimonials alleging that Scientology policies have hindered members from reporting instances of sexual assault and physical violence to the authorities."
"We're exposing so much, but we need to do some other things to bring the fight to a different level," Remini told THR. "We did not plan on more than a season or two. I always thought it would be six or eight episodes and that would be enough for the FBI, local police and the IRS to start doing something about it — or at the very least revoke their tax exemptions. People kept telling us more stories, and we had to tell them, but there's only so much you can do in this forum and in this way."
Should Scientology be revoked of its tax-exempt status, which was granted to the organization in 1993, the fallout would be colossal in financial terms. Remini said the FBI should conduct a full-blown raid on Scientology headquarters to find widespread coverup of both physical and sexual abuse.
"The church certainly knows that there are rapes, molestations and physical abuse going on — which is why I keep saying I think the FBI would be successful if they conducted a raid, as they did in 1977," said Remini. "Every crime that Scientology has ever committed or hidden is contained in their folders. I don't know that I've begun the healing process. When Scientology's tax exempt status is revoked and people are in prison, that's when I'll start healing. Until then, I'm still in the fight."
"They don't have the truth on their side," she continued. "And when you don't have the truth on your side, and you talk s**t and bully more than anything, you don't have much strength ... The public knows the truth."
A rep for Scientology told TMZ that the end of the "hate machine" that is Remini's A&E show could not come soon enough and that her accusations have generated "assassination attempts" against several prominent leaders in the church.
"Leah Remini has blood on her hands," said the rep. "Her show's lies, distortions and exhortations to hate and bigotry generated assassination threats against the leader of the Scientology religion, physical attacks on Churches, and the murder of a Scientology religious worker whose throat was slashed by a madman egged on by Remini's horrendous distortions."
President Trump has reportedly expressed interest in potentially revoking Scientology's tax-exempt status, though no actions have been taken at this time.